A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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What are the stages of the journey towards the Living Spirit?

spiritualjourney What are the stages of the journey towards the Living Spirit?

Welcome! It’s so graceful to share the journey. We’ve been on the journey a long time together. We’ve gone through a lot of stages.

And just as in any journey, some people have dropped along the way, have had enough for this round. Others have been waiting for us to catch up. The journey passes through the seven valleys, the seven kingdoms, the chakras, the planes of consciousness, the degrees of faith. Often we only know we’ve been in a certain place when we pass beyond it, because when we’re in it, we don’t have the perspective to know, because we’re only being. But as the journey progresses, less and less do you need to know. When the faith is strong enough, it is sufficient just to be.

It’s a journey towards simplicity, towards quietness, towards a kind of joy that is not in time. It’s a journey out of time, leaving behind every model we have had of who we think we are.


It involves a transformation of our beings so that our thinking mind becomes our servant rather than our master. It’s a journey that has taken us from primary identification with our body, through identification with our psyche, on to an identification with our souls, then to an identification with God, and ultimately beyond identification.

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Bridging Worlds

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Recently, my initial excitement and the newness of moving to Florida began to ebb somewhat, and day-to-day life took on an unexpected, almost bipolar energy. I found myself ricocheting back and forth between two rather extreme reactions: joy, optimism, positivity, appreciation, gratitude, love, inspiration on the one hand and sadness, fear, heaviness, pessimism, lack of motivation on the other. This could occur within the space of one day or even one hour, seemingly unrelated to what was happening around me. At times I was thrilled with my new home and surroundings, and then at other times I felt trapped, out of place, and uncomfortable. It took me fully another month to realize that I was experiencing what it is like to bridge two worlds: old paradigm and new dimension.

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58 Hits

Multisensory Thanks Giving

hands-and-colorful-powders-of-the-holi-festival-picture-id505746242 Multisensory Thanks Giving

Multisensory Thanks Giving is a celebration of the loving parts of our personalities. They are the parts that are grateful and content and caring and in awe of the Universe. They are the parts that distinguishing between love and fear within ourselves reveal, and as we recognize them, we use them to create and cocreate with love rather than collaborate in fear.

Multisensory Thanks Giving is giving thanks for being a part of the transformation of human consciousness that is occurring for the first time. It is giving thanks for the ability to create futures of contribution and care. Thanks and Giving go together. As our lives become lives of Thanks and Giving, they become unified expressions of love, because gratitude and contribution without attachment to the outcome are expressions of love.

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How To Deal With Your Anger

relationship-difficulties-picture-id539232336 How To Deal With Your Anger

Anger.

Just the word itself can sometimes feel scary.

In our culture we tend to shy away from it. Often from a young age we are taught to suppress our authentic anger. We are told that it is not OK, it’s not appropriate, it’s not spiritual.

So we learn to disconnect and suppress our anger in order to be loved, and accepted by those around us.

The problem is, what you don’t feel and express in conscious healthy ways will inevitably end up coming out and expressing in unhealthy ways.

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How to be the master of your own destiny

woman-relaxing-at-home-holding-a-coffee-mug-picture-id877068336 How to be the master of your own destiny

Life can be so very blissful, once we realize that we are the masters of our own destiny. It is only when we allow stress to overwhelm us that bliss starts waning from our lives and fear takes over. How to banish this fear so that we can claim our true identity is what I'm going to talk about today. 

BE THE MASTER OF YOUR OWN DESTINY

By eliminating fear you start sending positive signals to your mind and body. Once this begins to happen, our "Being" naturally settles into a happiness mode and then bliss returns.

We basically need to control our thoughts and not allow them to get negative. This level of self mastery is essential, and this is what leads to a powerful individual being.

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364 Hits

What Do You Need To Weigh In On?

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Most of us have blind spots -- situations in our life that we can’t see clearly or, consciously or unconsciously, choose to avoid. Whether we realize it or not, on some level, we even fight to keep our avoidance alive. We justify our excuses and buy into our rationalizations of why we should or should not do something.


On a daily basis I hear stories from people who, despite what they say they truly want in life, remain in the cage of their comfort zone. They validate their justifications by telling themselves that they should: 

  • Not get into a relationship because they might lose themselves it,
  • Avoid looking at their bank balance because it might impact their feelings of security,
  • Or if they are like me, they convince themselves that they should not get on the scale because it may trigger their body and eating issues from the past.



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3 Powerful Ways to End Your Suffering

sun-rising-on-half-dome-picture-id506319316 3 Powerful Ways to End Your Suffering

“I want. I want… I want…. It’s one of the most dangerous phrases you will ever speak.”~Jan

How can five letters hold such power?

I WANT has the immense and immediate ability to rip you away from the grace and power of the present moment while disconnecting you from the joy, passion, and peace that is your birthright.

In short, these two tiny words equal suffering. Let me show you how.

end your sufferingTwo Tiny Words, An Immense Amount of Suffering

I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be smart. I wanted to be successful. I wanted financial independence. I wanted to have kids. Lots of them. And I wanted to be loved (for a while I thought by George Clooney!?!) Oh, and I also wanted to have long, thin, beautiful legs. Seriously, Gisele Bundchen legs!

I wanted it all, with all of passion and conviction I could muster.

But my wants remained loftily stubborn. Out of reach. In fact, for the majority of my life, the absence of checkmarks on my ‘want list’ (and my bitchier days, my ‘deserve list’) made me firmly believe that life was against me.

I was a classic victim, sure that I had an oversized bullseye on my back. My life, I felt, was downright unfair, so I took every opportunity to remind the universe of this fact.

All because my wants weren’t showing up.

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3061 Hits

What Superhero Are You?

TFI-Blog-Post-Header-103018 What Superhero Are You?
Halloween is this week. Many of us have spent days planning and putting together the perfect costume. I am always fascinated to see the trends in Halloween costumes since I view them as a commentary on what is relevant in today's society. This year, there is no question we will see all sorts of references to what’s making headline news as well as fake news. There will be groups of people representing everything from Disney Princesses to the casts of Black Panther and Suicide Squad. And even though we will have the classic stand-bys like the naughty nurse, Rocky Balboa, or the Addams Family, there is no question that year after year, the most popular Halloween costumes are superheroes. From DC to Marvel Comics to the Avengers, the number and wide array of superheroes that are out protecting, patrolling and partying in the streets are always ever-present on Halloween night!

So, what is it about superheroes that make them so popular? Their superpowers, of course...And the desire we all have to possess them, even if it only is for one night!
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104 Hits

How to Be Here Now

woman-practice-yoga-with-friends-in-gym-picture-id918619002 How to Be Here Now

Ram Dass was one of the first teachers I resonated with when I stepped onto the spiritual path. He is a revered master of bhakti, or devotional yoga. I came across his classic Be Here Now at Russell Library in Middletown, Connecticut, while browsing the religion/spirituality section. My account was in good standing (an unusual state for me at Russell Library, since I was always overdue on something or other), so I took Be Here Now home. Since that day, I’ve considered Ram Dass an inadvertent punk-rock spiritual guide.

For those unfamiliar with Be Here Now, it’s a divine cookbook, divided into three parts. The first covers ex-Harvard professor Richard Alpert’s 1967 voyage to India, where, through a series of incredible events, he met Bhagavan Das, a fellow seeker who introduced him to his guru, Neem Karoli Baba leading Alpert to become Ram Dass. The third section is a series of practices from meditation to yoga (and much more) to help readers as they begin their spiritual adventures.

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Applying Tara Brach’s RAIN Practice of Everyday Life

purple-flowers-behind-the-wet-window-with-rain-drops-blurred-street-picture-id695633294 Applying Tara Brach’s RAIN Practice of Everyday Life

When I was just beginning to get interested in spirituality and meditation, I stumbled upon Buddhist teacher Tara Brach at my local library. I checked out her book Radical Acceptance during a time when the only thing I was willing to radically accept was deep self-loathing and an overall feeling of discontent with the world. Thanks to Tara’s insights, I began to awaken from what she calls the “trance of unworthiness.” She explained it to me like this:

“We might know we judge ourselves, but we don’t often get how much that squeeze of ‘something’s wrong with me’ is a part of everything, so that in every interaction on some level, we’re not free to be as spontaneous or playful or alive, because we’re afraid we’re not going to be the person who’s accepted by another. Even when it’s not the deep ‘I’m damaged goods,’ there’s still a sense of not enough.”




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259 Hits

I Don’t Want To Be That Person!

romantic-time-of-loving-couple-at-cafe-picture-id49403863_20181018-172202_1 I Don’t Want To Be That Person!

This morning I was working out with a friend who was telling me a story about how he went to a quintessential Cuban cafe for breakfast. Although he used his best Spanish to order, they ended up giving him the wrong kind of steak with his eggs. Now my friend, who is dedicated to health and fitness, is vigilant about what he puts into his body and eating clean. When I asked him if he sent his meal back, he shrugged his shoulders and replied,

 

“No. I don’t want to be that person.”

 

Being raised around people who sent things back at restaurants, got upset if the service was slow, or took it personally if they didn’t get “the right” table, I vowed at an early age not to be a complainer. I, like many of us, have played the role of the meal martyr and tolerated underwhelming service, waiters getting my order wrong (you know, the whole “no croutons, dressing on the side” thing), and my biggest pet-peeve - cold food, just because I didn’t want to be that person!

 

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have sat silent, fought with ourselves about whether to say something or send something back or not, and paid for things we did not order because we didn’t want to be that person. Our fear and worry about being judged or labeled as a complainer, spoiled, entitled, or a pain in the butt has caused us to bite our tongue and swallow our integrity along with an order of food we didn’t want or care for.

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You Have The Power To Forgive

power-to-forgive You Have The Power To Forgive

When you think of a martial artist in a ready posture, do you see someone who is fully present? Who is undistracted? Who is in their perfect point of power? Ready for anything, balanced, capable of utilizing all of their resources and resourcefulness? 

That is what Peace is like...

PEACE is the P in PLATINUM

When you are fully connected to your True Self, the Peace code is activated as your natural high frequency state.

This is the state of harmony, balance and tranquility where you are fully present and automatically seek the highest good for all.

Wouldn’t you love to live in that state all the time?

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521 Hits

"Need Some Healing Light?"

japanese-zen-garden-with-three-candle-lights-in-row-at-blue-picture-id976569880 "Need Some Healing Light?"

Every evening for many years, I continue with this little ritual that I’d like to share. Although it’s quite simple, I find it’s really powerful to have an intended thought powered by light. The simple act of lighting a candle every night for me reminds me that all thought has power, and keeping a candle lit safely for a while helps me to send and keep positive thoughts on a desired intention.

Candles have been used since the dawn of time for meditations, blessings, spiritual and religious ceremonies, healings, prayers, celebrations, abundance, psychic development, to feel comforted and protected, to hold the memory of a loved one, and yes … even romance! The uses are endless.

Many people choose candles by scent, some choose by color, while others are simply fine with a plain candle, or even a tea light in a votive purchased from a dollar store. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. No matter what you choose, it’s the positive use of the candle that makes it special.

Every day people use candles in a positive way without even knowing it. Ask yourself: “How many times have you blown out a candle on a birthday cake?” What you’re actually doing is that when you close your eyes to make a wish (holding that special thought) and then blowing out the candle, is that you’re actually sending off the wish while bringing your desires to light.


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Memento Mori – An Excerpt from “Walking Each Other Home”

silhouette-a-man-sitting-relaxing-under-full-moon-at-night-picture-id62513019_20181004-132246_1 Memento Mori – An Excerpt from “Walking Each Other Home”

Ram Dass has talked about how our culture supports the fear and denial of death in many ways, from our glorification of youth in the media to embalming practices that make the dead person appear to be still alive. We are discouraged from looking at the bare bones, as it were, of mortality. My mother told us not to talk about “unpleasant things.”

Dying most often takes place in hospitals or nursing homes, removed from the natural life of the family. Hardly anyone is simply honest about it, including many doctors, who often consider death a failure in their job of ensuring health and survival even though they know we will all someday be broken and unfixable. At a retreat for medical professionals in 1989, Ram Dass spoke about this:




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730 Hits

You Are Not Your Shame

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Over the past few weeks I have had the privilege of leading two transformational weekend workshops. I am always in awe of what an honor it is to be invited into people’s lives and have them share so openly about their past as well as the honest and raw feelings they have about themselves and their lives. Of course, we are also seeing so much of this in today’s culture – people, especially women, coming forward and sharing about the assaults, attacks, abuse, and secrets that they have not wanted, been able, or felt ready to share.

 

Although I am always very mindful of never assuming I know or can even comprehend what someone else feels, since I never want to diminish someone else’s pain by comparing or making sweeping assumptions or generalizations, I think it is fair to say that most of us have endured situations that felt off, wrong, or were just downright soul-crushing. And, in order to deal with or manage the pain or to just do what we have needed to do to get by and function, we learned to manage it, push it down, remain silent, numb ourselves, or stay busy and try to forget about it.

 

Although all of our stories are personal and unique, whether it comes from what we are seeing in the news, the #MeToo movement, or the people I have the privilege of working with, I am always so present to the insidiousness of the shame we all carry.


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5 phases on the journey from fear to freedom and how they helped me navigate divorce

picture-of-man-from-behind-walking-on-a-beach-picture-id477328793 5 phases on the journey from fear to freedom

Lissa Rankin is pioneering practitioner of medicine, my longtime friend and mentor, and a doctor I’ve found to be inspirational through her real and raw approach to transformational work. When I spoke to her for my book Dead Set on Living we discussed how stress becomes normalized. Lissa had some great things to say about this. She maintains that we’ve normalized stress to the point where it has become almost a badge of honor in our culture, as well as a defense. To say we’re stressed is to put on a suit of armor that makes us feel more socially acceptable, because now we’re important, contributing, productive.

If we examine what stresses us out, we’ll see that much of it is rooted in fear—anything from fear of being late for work to fear of death. Lissa said that if there a fear “cure” it would be “coming into right relationship with uncertainty.” I loved that: coming intro right relationship with uncertainty.

She sent me an excerpt from her book The Fear Cure that can work as the foundation for a practice. Try it and see what you think.


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602 Hits

The Blame Game – How to Take your Power Back Today!

angel-with-a-violin-picture-id869171782-1 The Blame Game – How to Take your Power Back Today!

BLAME

Man is this a tough one for some of us. It sure was for me.

Blame was my go to. It was my only recourse many times. “It’s not my fault or don’t blame me” were common responses when I was in “trouble” both as a child and even as an adult. I found a senses of freedom in blaming someone else… for my bad day or bad mood, my ruined event or experience… It was “easier” to blame someone for the seemingly bad things in my life…

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793 Hits

Part 1: Awakening through Anger – The U-Turn to Freedom

porcupine-eating-on-a-tree-branch-picture-id134535226 Part 1: Awakening through Anger – The U-Turn to Freedom

Anger is naturally triggered when we feel an obstacle to meeting our needs. How do we honor the intelligence within anger, but not get hijacked into emotional reactivity that creates suffering in our individual and collective lives? This talk explores the U-turn that enables us to offer a healing attention to the feelings and unmet needs under anger. Once present with our inner life, we are able to respond to those around us with wisdom, empathy and true strength. (a favorite from the archives)

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Mark Twain

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191 Hits

Learning to Find Your Voice

bluedoor Learning to Find Your Voice

“The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence, an artist of her life, a sculptor of her universe, a person with rights and responsibilities who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins.” 

– Joan Chittister

“You have found your voice.”

That’s what the subject line of the e-mail said.

I stared at it for the longest time. I didn’t really even think that I wanted to open the note. The subject line was a gift in and of itself.

As I stared at it longer, my eyes welled up with tears. I had waited a long time to hear a message like that, much less read it in print.

Think about that phrase in the context of your own life. Think about someone saying that to you. How would it make you feel?

Do you feel as though you have found your voice, and if so, are you using it the way you want? If you haven’t, do you know what’s keeping you from finding it?

For many (and I’d put myself in this category) it can take a long time to find your own authentic voice. Over the course of my life, I’ve used my voice in a myriad of ways. I’ve used it to tell other people’s stories. I’ve used it to advocate for people running for office or causes I believe in. I’ve used it on behalf of those I love. I’ve used it lovingly, sternly, timidly, and assertively. And, somewhere along the way after using it enough, I’ve finally found my own true voice.

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Don't Be Pressured

pressurefall Don't Be Pressured

Bring mindful awareness to how your brain reacts to feeling threatened

What makes you feel threatened?

The Practice:
Don't be pressured.

Why?

Humans evolved to be fearful, as anxiety helped keep our ancestors alive. Consequently, we are vulnerable to being alarmed, manipulated, and even intimidated by threats, both real ones and “paper tigers.”

This vulnerability to feeling threatened has effects at many levels, ranging from individuals, couples, and families to schoolyards, organizations, and nations. Whether it's an individual who worries about the consequences of speaking up at work or in a close relationship, a family cowed by a scary parent, a business fixated on threats instead of opportunities, or a country that's routinely told it's under "Threat Level Orange"—it's the same human brain that reacts in all cases.

Therefore, understanding how your brain became so vigilant and wary, and so easily hijacked by alarm, is the first step toward gaining more control over that ancient circuitry. Then, by bringing mindful awareness to how your brain reacts to feeling threatened, you can stimulate and therefore build up the neural substrates of a mind that has more calm, wisdom, and sense of inner strength—a mind that sees real threats more clearly, acts more effectively in dealing with them, and is less rattled or distracted by exaggerated, manageable, or false alarms.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

Join Soulspring for conscious insights...

...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

 PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to a Peaceful Mind